Describe some common image file formats and their applications.

Subject Computer Graphics and Multimedia
NU Year Set: 4.(e) Marks: 2 Year: 2011

1. TIFF (also known as TIF), file types ending in .tif

TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format. TIFF images create very large file sizes. TIFF images are uncompressed and thus contain a lot of detailed image data (which is why the files are so big) TIFFs are also extremely flexible in terms of color (they can be grayscale, or CMYK for print, or RGB for web) and content (layers, image tags).

2. JPEG (also known as JPG), file types ending in .jpg

JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, which created this standard for this type of image formatting. JPEG files are images that have been compressed to store a lot of information in a small-size file. Most digital cameras store photos in JPEG format because then you can take more photos on one camera card than you can with other formats.

3. GIF, file types ending in .gif

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. This format compresses images but, as different from JPEG, the compression is lossless (no detail is lost in the compression, but the file can’t be made as small as a JPEG).

4. PNG, file types ending in .png

PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics. It was created as an open format to replace GIF, because the patent for GIF was owned by one company and nobody else wanted to pay licensing fees. It also allows for a full range of color and better compression.

5. Raw image files

Raw image files contain data from a digital camera (usually). The files are called raw because they haven’t been processed and therefore can’t be edited or printed yet. There are a lot of different raw formats–each camera company often has its own proprietary format.

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